Hello, Hurricane

Have you ever noticed how the distance between a crisis and oneself determines the level of reaction or response?

Last year I was visiting relatives in the path of Matthew and had to make a choice: Scramble to secure a flight and leave before the storm hit or hunker down and ride it out?

My husband, on the opposite side of the continental U.S., voted for the former.

BUT

Leaving family behind (and conceding to their choice to stay!) also meant grappling with the roiling emotions that followed.

We can’t be in two places at once, even if our hearts are.

According to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, the forceful and destructive tropical cyclone reached an unusual category 5 with the highest winds clocked in at 165 miles per hour with catastrophic results: killing 40 people in the U.S. and over 1,000 on the island nation of Haiti and becoming the ninth-costliest Atlantic hurricane with $15.09 billion (yes, that’s a ‘b’!) in damage.

I made it home safely, albeit with more than the customary travel impediments and technology snafus. Our family on the east coast weathered out the massive deluge and was no worse off for the devastating event.

And yet.

We will never forget the impact of that stressful time.

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Recently, I learned of A NASA Mission Like No Other on Jenna Lee’s last day of 10 years in America’s Newsroom via a cable news provider.

The Atlantic Hurricane Season just began on June 1 (and runs through November 30) and scientists have a new tool in their arsenal: the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System or CGNSS for short.

It’s a series of small satellites launched nearly six months ago…and measures ocean surface wind and temperatures.

Rick Reichmuth, a meteorologist said:

The national hurricane center that gives the overall forecast that everybody uses–this will help the process.

Over the last few years we’ve gotten much better at the track of hurricanes–so knowing exactly where it’s going to go with (obviously) a little deviation.

But the strength of a storm we’re not that good at just yet. This (CGNSS) is going to make a big difference…because these satellites are able to pentrate through the rain and get the winds.

This found me wishing there were instruments to measure and warn us of incoming pressures of life. You know, the stress, struggle, and strain that happen in our hearts and lives.

Something like the S-SHWS to gauge:

  • measurements in pressure
  • wind speed
  • storm surge potential
  • damage potential
  • What category will it fall under

While there are no such warning devices available, there are ways to prepare for and overcome the adversities that befall us.

Whether it’s a financial reversal, job loss or change, unexpected or chronic health issues, business or personal relationship strains (or losses!) or any another unwelcome change.

Crawford Loritts, a Senior Pastor in Roswell, Georgia once paraphrased King Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes, “If we live long enough every last one of us will face major, catastrophic difficulties and disappointments in life. It’s woven into the tapestry of life.”

Lorritts talked about King David’s lament in Psalm 55, penned during high-pressure points in the monarch’s life: His son Absolom wanted to kill him and take over the kingdom and he’d just been betrayed by a very close friend.

Loritts went on to offer practical ways to handle the problems we face:

  1. Don’t sugar-coat your emotions. Tell God exactly how you feel. (David expressed anger, outrage, and frustration.)
  2. Get rid of jealousy/envy or passive aggressive tendencies and deal with issues head-on. (Get help if necessary.)
  3. Focus on God’s sovereignty. He is never not in control even when it’s our fault.
  4. Focus on the salvation of God and call on Him. He will show up.
  5. Focus on God’s sustaining power. (“You O Lord, are a shield about me, You’re my glory, and the lifter of my head.” Psalm 3:3.)
  6. Finish the ride! Do it with joy and surrender to God.

God’s deliverance is not always from something but in something.

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Author: Glenda Zylinski

Glenda Zylinski lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband Paul. They have two grown sons and two grandchildren.

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